And So It Is

by Bruce Spang

Always I’ve wondered
why when we take our dogs
for a walk, Pepper, our rat terrier, holds back,
scurries under my bed, afraid to go out
into the first light as if the world were entirely new,
why he doesn’t know
it’s the same as it was yesterday and the day before.

Maybe he’s right: this day
with an enormous sky, the yellow-blue mouth of it,
the luminous light licking every living thing it trips over
is a beginning.

Maybe it’s like my son
when he was three not daring to step off
the front steps
onto the spring grass with its pointy blades
snaring his bare feet.

He wailed and reached up for me to pick him up and hold him
as God must have done with Adam
when He assured him, “It’s nothing to fear. It’s the earth, the grass, and,
there, the long ones that cast a shadow, are trees,”
as Adam held fast to God looking at it,
the illimitable horizon with no stop signs.
No wonder he was afraid; he knew how long it would take
to feel at home in this place,
to run without a leash
as Pepper does when we let him down in the park,
romping across the field, delighted his four paws like wings carry him
from one treat to the next, transported by muscles, sinews, lungs, and nose
to the open sod to chaw it down
despite our yelling, “Leave it! Leave it alone!”
leave this clay that God whooshed into life,
the edible glory of it on his tongue,
as my son learned to tumble
in the grass and slide, arms-out, down the back slope in the snow,
gobbling fistfuls of snow, feasting on the isness of it,
as Adam in the first light of the first day,
walking warm on the new-made earth,
touched the scrubs,
the grasses by the stream,
touched the wet wonder of them,
not wanting to name anything as yet
—not getting down to business—
because it was new and he concurred with God:
It was good:
this field with the sky high above
that went on forever,
the worlds out there for him to take in—
to find his place among them.

Bruce Spang is the author of two novels, The Deception of the Thrush and Those Close Beside Me. His published poetry books include All You'll Derive: A Caregiver's Journey and Boy at the Screen Door (Moon Pie Press), and he is the fiction editor of the Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine. Bruce lives with his husband and their four dogs, five fish, and twelve birds.

About And So It Is—This poem is a response to a writing prompt that asked the author to imagine what the beginning of creation would be like.